A new Senate bill would increase Medicaid funds toward home-and-community-based services rather than nursing homes. The “Community Integration Act” would speed up implementation of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead ruling. Olmstead stated that nursing home residents with disabilities have a right to live at home-or community-based settings if they have the ability and if it is their preference. Despite the Olmstead ruling, experts say 200,000 working-age people remain segregated in nursing homes due to “nursing home bias” in Medicaid, which pays for institutional care but often does not cover home-or community-based care services for certain beneficiaries. The bill would address this issue by allowing Medicaid to fund nursing home-level care for people living at home or in the community and would also set requirements regarding how states determine people’s eligibility for home-and-community based services.
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